Blistering summer days are upon us, which means it’s time to test out some of the best cold drinks this world has to offer. Yes, I’m talking about cooling beverages from all countries around the globe: from Mexico to Italy and from Japan to India. Each culture has its own set of favourite ingredients to create refreshing drinks and, who knows, maybe one of these beverages will become your favourite this summer? Here are 10 cold drinks from around the world to try right now.
Mexico is known for its scorching summers and spicy cuisine, so a classic cooling drink should be something absolutely different. And it is! Horchata is gentle, milky, frothy, and incredibly satiating. It can be prepared with or without milk, but the main ingredients are as follows: vanilla, sugar, rice, cinnamon, and almonds. You can add almond milk or cow milk into the mix and blend everything together. It tastes heavenly!
Neer More (India)
In countries with hot and humid climate like India cold beverages are often made using dairy. They are cold, salty, spicy, and offer the necessary escape from the sizzling heat that comes with summers. Neer more is mostly popular in the south of the country, where the climate is hot all year round. It’s made with buttermilk, lots of savoury spices, and a pinch of salt. Asafoetida can also be used in the mix. This simple drink easily quenches thirst and works as a great digestion booster as well.
If you still feel like sugary drinks make a better job of cooling you down, then go for the classic Malaysian bandung drink that’s prepared with evaporated milk. It has a very pleasant flavour due to rose water, looking bright and cheerful in the glass. It gets its pink colour from natural food dye, so keep it in mind in case you like your drinks to be 100% natural. Add some sugar, ice, and you’re good to go! It looks chic and tastes delicious.
Latte e Menta (Italy)
Italians are really crazy about latte, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that they would drink it even in summer, but with slight changes, of course. Latte a menta is fresh, frothy, and incredibly icy, which makes it one of the most favourite summer drinks in Italy. Basically it is ice latte prepared with some peppermint syrup and freshly ground mint. It’s tasty and beyond refreshing!
Sour Plum Soda (Japan)
Cold summer soda can be made in a variety of ways, but I bet you haven’t tried mixing it with sour plums. Called umeboshi in Japanese and suanmeizi in Chinese, sour plum is the perfect ingredient to create a sour-sweet drink that will quench your thirst this summer. Popular all over Southeast Asian countries, this beverage combines the saltiness of umeboshi, sweetness of sugar, and cheerful fizz of sparkling water. It’s one of those drinks that will be either a hit or miss for you.
Kvas is the number one drink in Ukraine during hot summer days. It’s sold everywhere in the streets, so you can buy a glass of this cooling beverage no matter where you go. It’s a bit tricky to make at home as it is a fermented drink, but you can still try. You will need some bread, water, and yeast for the base of the drink, with addition of honey for sweetness and flavour. You will end up with a fizzy sour-tasting drink that feels incredibly energizing when it’s hot outside. It’s considered non-alcoholic, but if fermented long enough, it can become a bit boozy.
How about some dried persimmon punch? Yes, it’s a thing, and you’ll be amazed just how delicious this drink is. Prepared with peppercorn, cinnamon, and lots of ginger, this drink is quite spicy and fiery, but surprisingly chilling. The whole mixture of dried persimmons and spices is boiled together and needs some time to cool down, but the result is definitely worth all the waiting.
Thai Iced Tea (Thailand)
Iced tea is one of the most popular cooling beverages in Southeast Asia, but in Thailand they prepare it especially well. All the street vendors sell it, more often than not pouring it into a simple plastic bag for the take-out. It’s bright orange due to the strong brew of the tea and tastes like the sweetest thing in the world due to the generous amount of condensed milk. There’s a lot of ice, so you’ll be drinking more liquid than you bargained for as the ice slowly melts. It’s surprisingly refreshing!
You can find variations of lemonade (or limeade) all over the world and there’s a reason for that. It’s the most refreshing summer drink ever! The simple mix of lemons, sugar, and water creates a perfect combination that quenches thirst and fills you up. One of the first mentions of lemonade was found in ancient Egyptian scriptures dating 1,500 BC. It’s that old! It is also believed to improve digestion and help with diarrhoea. If you’re against using sugar, try some organic honey instead.
Hibiscus Ginger Punch (Jamaica)
The hot climate of Jamaica calls for something more than just a sweet cold drink to quench thirst during hot summer days. Hibiscus ginger punch is a lively mix of hibiscus (which is called sorrel in Jamaica), ginger, and sugar to balance it all out. The taste is perfect – it’s spicy thanks to ginger, hibiscus gives it a refreshing sourness, and sugar adds the necessary sweetness. It’s also incredibly healthy as ginger root is a known immunity booster that also promotes digestion, while hibiscus normalizes blood pressure and keeps your liver healthy.